That’s the message from Knowsley Council to its vulnerable residents as we move into a new national lockdown from Thursday 5 November.
Thousands of people in Knowsley who have been identified as being ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ by the Government will this week receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer advising them to stay at home as much as possible over the next four weeks (until 2 December). In addition to this group (referred to previously as Shielded residents) the over 60’s and pregnant women are also being advised to take extra caution.
Whilst the advice is there to protect these residents – more at risk from COVID 19 – the Council recognises the challenge it presents for many who may have difficulty in shopping for food or accessing medication.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council said:
“As during the first lockdown our message is clear and we are here to help. This time around however we are more prepared and have really robust plans in place to support the people who need it most.
With almost 10,000 of our residents classed as being ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ this can be a daunting prospect but as we learned during the first phase, many of these people have strong family and community networks that step up to support them to be able to stay at home and stay safe.
For others though this might not be the case and that’s where we will step in.”
To deliver this essential support the Council has redeployed staff and is stepping its volunteer cohort back up. From 5 November it will operate a Food Triage service which will be deployed in cases where residents do not have local support – family or friends – to access essential supplies.
For those individuals their needs will be accessed and a number of options will then be offered including priority online supermarket slots (with training and support, if required, to get residents online and comfortable using the internet), telephone ordering, volunteer shopping support or referrals to community groups.
For others struggling to pay for essential supplies organisations like Knowsley Foodbank and The Big Help Project (TBHP) are available.
Cllr Morgan added: “We know that this can be a very worrying time for many residents, especially those who do not have people to call on for support. We have learned a lot from the first lockdown so are confident that the arrangements we have in place will be able to support our communities and support our residents to not feel isolated and feel confident and assured that their essential needs will be met in the coming weeks.
Unlike the first lockdown this is just for a 4 week period. So I would encourage people to remember that, stay as positive as possible and importantly know that we are here to help.”
Anyone worried or concerned or requiring more information should contact the Knowsley Support and Volunteer line on 0800 073 0043.